Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the spinal cord and brain. 10 to 15 percent of meningitis leads to death. However, some outbreaks of the inflammation has caused 50 percent mortality. Deafness, brain damage, and amputation can occur as a permanent side effect.
Meningitis has identifying markers and a few to be aware of are:
- Fungal – Fungus is rare but has higher risks.
- Bacterial – Is carried and spread by bacteria, this disease is preventable by vaccine.
- Viral – It is seriously but less severe than bacterial. Vaccines can prevent this as well.
Meningitis can be spread in various ways. Bacterial and viral meningitis is spread through air droplets person-to-person. It also can be spread via nasal secretions and fluids. They are most often spread with communities that live and work close to one another. Shared facilities and dorm livings are risk areas.
Various regions of the world have an increased risk for meningitis. There is a meningitis belt in Saudi Arabia and Africa.
There are only two types of vaccinations given in the U.S. One protects specifically against A, C, W, and Y strains. The other vaccine protects against the B strains.
Meningitis vaccinations are recommended for people over 11 years old. This includes both vaccinations.
Travelers could be exposed to meningitis. The people that should be wary include:
- Travelers in the ‘meningitis belt’ in Africa
- Travelers going to Hajj in Saudi Arabia
- College students
- Workers in confined conditions
- Healthcare workers
There are certain risk zones, that are higher than most. These include:
- The Meningitis Belt – This region of sub-Sahara Africa has the most meningitis cases in the world. Three countries account for 65% of the meningitis cases in Afric
- Sub-Sahara Africa – This region has occasional outbreaks of meningitis. This includes Kenya and the Congo.
- Hajj Pilgrimage – Saudi Arabia has some outbreaks during the pilgrimage. Proof of vaccination is required for entry.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos@ZerborPosted on May 22, 2023